In addition to seeing us for checkups and cleanings every six months, children need good oral hygiene routines to avoid tooth decay and enjoy optimal oral health. This includes proper brushing and flossing habits. In today’s blog, your Rochester, MN, dentist talks about how to help your kids brush and floss.
Plaque and Little Smiles
Over time, the particles of sugar and starch trapped between your child’s teeth will be broken down by oral bacteria, creating a higher level of oral acidity and coating the teeth in plaque. The buildup then irritates gum tissue and weakens outer enamel, leaving smiles vulnerable to inflammation and tooth decay. Plaque is also linked to bad breath and teeth stains too. To help control how much plaque can form until your child’s next dental cleaning removes it, daily brushing and flossing is crucial.
Kids need to brush in the morning when they wake up and then again before going to bed. Each session should take two minutes, and you can time them with a sand timer, song, or video. Be sure they’re using an age-appropriate toothbrush, one their dexterity can handle. Manual or electric are effective, as long as they’re being used properly. Kids should use a toothpaste with fluoride to help protect their teeth. Those three and younger need a rice sized amount, kids over the age of three need a pea sized amount. You can brush for babies and young toddlers, and monitor your older children to ensure they’re taking time to properly clean their teeth.
In addition to brushing, they also need to floss, beginning once there are teeth sitting side-by-side. For young children, a floss pick is often easier to use, and they can upgrade to a tape once they’re older. Essentially, they need to clean up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line to remove trapped particles. This removes what a toothbrush alone cannot reach, and is necessary for avoiding tooth decay and gingivitis. Kids then have plaque removed from their teeth completely when they attend a cleaning every six months. In the same visit, we can also apply a fluoride gel to protect the outer enamel, or dental sealants to protect hard to reach rear molars.
If you have any questions, then contact our team today to learn more.
TALK TO YOUR ROCHESTER, MN DENTIST ABOUT PROTECTING KIDS’ SMILES
We would like to help you and your family maintain your best possible smiles. If you would like to learn more about how to safeguard little smiles from home, or if you wish to book an appointment at our location, call Greenview Cosmetic And Family Dentistry in Rochester, MN at (507) 281-3659.